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40 to Phoenix Day 6, Route 66 And Bobby Kemp

Saturday April 2, 2017
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Tags: Route 66

Click 2017 40 to Phoenix to see all the stories in this topic.

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 12:16 PM CDT Alt: 2046
Miles:271
Start Point:El Reno, OK
End Point:Amarilo, TX
Weather:48° to about lunch, then 50° most of the afternoon. Overcast, grey and fog until late in the day


The day started at 1,407 feet and ended at 3,646 feet. The highest altitude was 3,646 feet and the lowest altitude was 1,377 feet.


Click the icons or any point in the track log for more info.

First I will admit I wimped out on going to Palo Duro Canyon tonight for dinner. I got to the motel late and just did not have enough time to go. But I have had a blast today on Route 66. The overcast skies added a nice mood to my photos.

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:02 AM CDT Alt: 1374

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:05 AM CDT Alt: 1377

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:06 AM CDT Alt: 1377
Theroute-66.com has the following information:

It is the longest bridge on Route 66, measuring 3,944.33 feet or about 3/4 miles (1,203 m). It was built in 1933 at a cost of $346,000 and was built by the Kansas City Bridge Co. It consists of 38 pony truss sections, each 100 feet long. "Pony" refers to how the traffic is located in relation to the structure. In a pony bridge traffic flows between the parallel trusses which are not braced at the top (the trusses are the steel structures that support the bridge on either side of the roadway).

The trusses are "Camelback" design, a name which is due to the shape of the truss which curves with a slight arch-shape, strong and light. It was finally opened to traffic in 1934 due to delays in the Bridgeport section of US 66.

Its official name is "William H. Murray Bridge", but locals know it as the "Pony" bridge. (more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:11 AM CDT Alt: 1383

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:11 AM CDT Alt: 1383

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:13 AM CDT Alt: 1383

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:14 AM CDT Alt: 1383

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:22 AM CDT Alt: 1475

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:27 AM CDT Alt: 1486

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:31 AM CDT Alt: 1500
The stretch of Route 66 from the Camelback bridge to Hydro is listed on the National Registor of Historic Places. It is one of the longest intact segments of Route 66 in western Oklahoma and is 19.5 miles long. It was paved in Portland Concrete in 1931, 33 and 34. Some patches of asphalt have resurfaced it west of the Canadian River, but the rest is unaltered. It has the original integral curbs and drains to help discharge rain water.

It remained operational until 1962 when I-40 replaced it. (more info)

This service station is officially named the Provine Service Station but is commonly known as Lucille's Place. This station was built in 1929 and other stations like it were springing up across the country. This style of rural station was convenient for the traveler to get gasoline, pay the attendant, and be on his way. Like other rural, mom and pop-built stations of the time, this one was built with the owner’s living quarters located on the second story.

In 1941, the Hamons family took over its operation. Lucille Hamons ran the business and lived there for nearly 60 years. She quickly became one of the highway’s legendary characters. Her self-reliance and generous assistance to motorists earned her the nickname “Mother of the Mother Road.”

In 1971, the completed section of Interstate 40 a few miles to the south cut the station off from direct access to the new highway, but Lucille found a way to survive. She kept the station open until the day she died, August 18, 2000. (more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:49 AM CDT Alt: 1517

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:54 AM CDT Alt: 1521

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 8:54 AM CDT Alt: 1521

If it is true that location is everything, then the Y Service Station and Cafe along old Route 66 in Clinton had it all. Constructed in 1937, this roadside business was strategically located on a triangular lot that formed the fork in a Y shaped intersection on the southern outskirts of Clinton. Tenth Street, which doubled as Route 66, splits at this point, with Route 66 continuing off to the west and U.S. Route 183 heading south. Situated in the middle of this fork with gas pump islands flanking both highways, the Y Service Station and Cafe prospered.

Like many roadside businesses bypassed by Route 66, the Y Service Station did not die, but instead evolved. Today, the gas pump islands are gone, the brick trim is painted blue, and blue metal awnings dominate. The building is currently host to an automobile dealership. Still, a large sign on its second floor reminds visitors that the Y and Route 66 once were closely, and profitably, connected. The station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

(more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 9:29 AM CDT Alt: 1609

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 9:30 AM CDT Alt: 1614
I rode through the town of Canute. I knew there was an interesting cemetery there with a "grotto" build in 1928 along with some abandoned buildings. I noticed a vehicle in the cemetery and figured they were at the grotto as that is the main attraction. A couple was looking through a glass door and came over as I rode up. I asked something along the lines of "Is this what I came to see?" Their names were Cindy and Grady. They told me they had noticed me when I drove through town. Actually I was the only thing moving through the town so I was hard to miss.

They live in the area but Cindy had never seen the grotto so they were checking it out today.

Grady has a Honda Fury and showed me a photo of it on his phone. He admitted it was his mid life crissis motorcycle. Cindy liked my Gold Wing because it looked much more comfortale than Grady's Fury. They actually have been looking at Gold Wings. I handed them one of my coins, we shook hands and said good bye. Cindy and Grady, it was great meeting you. (more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 10:13 AM CDT Alt: 1882

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 10:17 AM CDT Alt: 1882

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 10:23 AM CDT Alt: 1885

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 10:26 AM CDT Alt: 1885

This is the original road bed of Route 66. You can see in the distance that I-40 cut the road in two. Route 66 continues on the other side of I-40.

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 10:30 AM CDT Alt: 1896

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 11:29 AM CDT Alt: 1991

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 11:51 AM CDT Alt: 1811

Road kill on old Route 66.

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 11:53 AM CDT Alt: 1812
Abandoned road bed of Route 66.

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 12:00 PM CDT Alt: 1866
Erick has an abandoned motel I wanted to check out. I was snapping a few photos when a pickup truck crossed the road and stopped, blocking a west bound lane of Route 66. Which was not much of a problem in Erick. He asked where I was from and I told him the Raleigh NC area. He told me to not miss the Texola Territorial Jail a few miles down the road and gave me directions for getting there.

We shook hands and introduced ourselves. He was Bobby Kemp. We chatted a little more and he mentioned that his bike was in the garage. Now, looking at Bobby I had no doubt what brand of motorcycle he rode, but I had to ask anyway. He replied, "A Harley".

I asked if I could take his picture. He said yes, so I did and gave him one of my coins so he could check out my website. Bobby, if you see this, it was a pleasure meeting you. And I did visit the Territorial Jail (see photos below).

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 12:14 PM CDT Alt: 2046

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 12:14 PM CDT Alt: 2046

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 12:16 PM CDT Alt: 2046

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Apr 2, 2017 Sun 12:30 PM CDT Alt: 2118

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Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:01 PM CDT Alt: 2314

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:01 PM CDT Alt: 2314

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:02 PM CDT Alt: 2314
The Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café is located along historic Route 66 in Shamrock and was built in 1936. With its Art Deco detailing and two towers, the building was designed and constructed to be three separate structures. The first was the Tower Conoco Station, named for the dominating four-sided obelisk rising from the flat roof and topped by a metal tulip. The second was the U-Drop Inn Café, which got its name from a local schooolboy's winning entry in a naming contest. The third structure was supposed to be a retail store that instead became an overflow seating area for the café. (more info)

A careful restoration was completed in 2003 recovering its 1940s charm. Disney - Pixar spotted the building and included it in their 2006 movie, Cars, styling the "House of Body Art", the business of the character Ramone after the Conoco gas station. (more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:11 PM CDT Alt: 2304

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:13 PM CDT Alt: 2304

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:13 PM CDT Alt: 2304
Who would have thunk that Tessa would have a charging station in Shamrock, OK

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:14 PM CDT Alt: 2304

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:24 PM CDT Alt: 2350

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:27 PM CDT Alt: 2350
In 1929, Phillips Petroleum chose McLean as the location for its first Texas station. The building’s quaint Tudor Revival design complete with shutters and an exterior brick chimney reflected the trend of building gas stations that looked like cottages. The station operated for five decades before closing in 1977. (more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:50 PM CDT Alt: 2894

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:51 PM CDT Alt: 2894

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Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:52 PM CDT Alt: 2896

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 1:53 PM CDT Alt: 2896
(more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:09 PM CDT Alt: 3033

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:10 PM CDT Alt: 3033
Not much happening on Main Street in Alanreed, TX

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:11 PM CDT Alt: 3035

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:06 PM CDT Alt: 3011
The creation of the National Highway System in 1926 with the Chicago to Los Angeles highway passing through Jericho brought some prosperity: travelers began passing through the town in growing numbers. Soon it had three stores a service station, garage and even a "tourist Court". Its local farmers shipped their grain out through the grain elevator. Population peaked at around 100 in 1933, dwindling after that. It was a long downwards spiral: the post office closed in 1995, the tracks were abandoned and lifted in the mid 1980s, and the old buildings crumbled in disrepair. Now only crumbling walls and some concrete foundations mark the old town. The cemetery however is still in use. (more info)

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:25 PM CDT Alt: 3180

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:30 PM CDT Alt: 3184

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:31 PM CDT Alt: 3184

Apr 2, 2017 Sun 2:38 PM CDT Alt: 3192

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40 to Phoenix is a motorcycle ride organized each year by a fellow GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Riders Association) member. The group starts at Wilmington, NC and travels roughly I-40 to California with a side trip to Mexico.

Phoenix Arizona is the national headquarters of the GWRRA and many riders turn around at that point and return home. Hence the name "40 to Phoenix".

My goal is to write a blog about each day. I also have a phone app that updates my location on a map on this website every 10 minutes or so. Click here to see the map.


You may be interested in the next article, 40 to Phoenix Day 7, More Route 66 Photos.

The previous article is 40 to Phoenix Day 5, The Teacher, The Bus Driver, The Cook.

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